Death and the Penguin, written in 1996, translated by George Bird in 2001.
I found the novel slightly odd, in a good way, that is. It was an entertaining book to read, something completely different from what I've been reading lately. The novel, then, is about Viktor and his penguin, Misha. I found Viktor a mildly annoying character, mostly due to his never standing up for himself or actively questioning the goings-on of his life and especially of his job and the people surrounding it.
The plot seems rather repetitive but I suppose that is to illustrate the monotony of life in Kiev, or perhaps just life as Viktor. Kurkov does this successfully yet this is also where the novel's flaw lies: after the umpteenth obituary that has been sent off, or yet another mystery parcel delivered to Viktor's flat in the middle of the night, the novel becomes slightly tiresome to read. Towards the end of the novel, however, the pace starts to pick up a little, which is nice for a change.
I will read the sequel, Penguin Lost, mostly because I want to find out what happens to Misha the penguin, I'm not as interested in Viktor, but maybe he'll redeem himself in part two.